The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of anxiety and concern for all of us during 2020. If you are pregnant however then those feelings might be even greater. It isn’t uncommon to feel worried about the ways in which Coronavirus may affect you, your baby and the care you have during the different stages of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy and COVID
Your GP, Midwife or maternity team as always, are a valuable resource and you should talk through any concerns you might have in the same ways as you normally would. They are there to help and to give you peace of mind with facts, advice and guidance throughout your pregnancy.
If you or anyone in your household has any of the symptoms of Coronavirus then it is important to tell them as soon as possible.
Your level of risk
Pregnant women have been included in the list of people in the ‘Moderate Risk’ category of those classed as clinically vulnerable to COVID-19. The important reason for this is because pregnant women can be more at risk from other viruses such as flu. There is no evidence that you may be more likely to become seriously ill from Coronavirus if you are pregnant. It is simply a safer precautionary measure against what is still a new virus.
Appointments and scans are really important parts of the care you receive during pregnancy. That is still the case and it is just as important that you attend as you normally would. However you might notice some changes in the way things are done. Remember that surgeries and hospitals worked incredibly hard to make their services safe when COVID-19 first reached the UK. Since then they have kept on working just as diligently to identify potential problems and to make things even safer. Especially for pregnant women, to halt the spread of the virus and create as safe an environment as possible.
- You might be asked to wear and mask and gown whilst visiting a hospital or clinic.
- Your midwife is still available as normal, however some appointments might be online, over the telephone or through video calling.
- Some appointments might be cancelled or changed, if that happens you will have the chance to rebook it or it will be rescheduled automatically.
- You might need to check with your maternity or midwifery team before bringing a partner along to appointments.
Taking care of yourself
The advice we are all now familiar with also applies to pregnant women.
- Regular handwashing.
- Spending time at home as much as possible and staying 2 metres from other people when outside.
- Staying away from anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus.
- Attending all your appointments and scans unless you are asked not to.
- If you start to display symptoms of Coronavirus, self isolate with the people you live with and don’t have visitors. Anyone in your support bubble should also self isolate.
- Book a test to see if you have Coronavirus as soon as possible along with others in your household and support bubble.
- Speak to your midwife who will be able to advise on what to do next, such as rebooking appointments or switching to video consultations until you are better.
For other information regarding the birth of your baby, birthing partners, giving birth with Coronavirus and post-natal care and support, visit the NHS website.
Help and support is available doing things such as shopping, collecting prescriptions or transport to and from appointments. You can contact the NHS Volunteer Responders by visiting their website or by telephone on 0808 196 3646.